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Old 07-22-2005, 05:20 PM   #1
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Tow Vehicle/Hitch Help

Hello to all:
I'm a newbie looking for some guidance. Unless something unforeseen happens, in the near future I will be ordering our first RV -- a 28' Safari LS. My current choices for a tow vehicle are the following 2005/2006 SUV's:
3/4 Ton GMC Yukon 4X4 with Vortec 8100 V8 and Auto Trans.
3/4 Ton Chevy Suburban 4X4 with Vortec 8100 V8 and Auto Trans
3/4 Ton Ford Excursion 4X4 with 6.0 Power Stroke Diesel and Auto Trans
The 28' Safari is listed at 7300 lbs. GVW and a dry hitch weight of 890 lbs.
I believe that all of the above vehicles will be able to safely and efficiently pull our new Safari, but I want to be sure. I would rather have too much vehicle than barely enough. (The Ford Excursion may be out of the running because its specs show that it is about 2'' too high to fit through our garage door.)
I'm also looking for guidance as to what hitch might also be the best for this set-up.

Any info, suggestions, opinions, etc. will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Trav
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Old 07-22-2005, 05:38 PM   #2
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Welcome Trav!

You're right - All of your listed vehicles will perform admirably.

Funny you mention auto trans. Were you considering a manual? FWIW, nowadays the autos have higher ratings in general since there is small demand for manuals.

I have Reese's dual cam, and feel it can't be beat. To me, adjustable friction bars are to be avoided.

Tom
p.s. GM rules my driveway
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Old 07-22-2005, 06:26 PM   #3
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My "old" Chevy 5.0 luged a 1967 26 footer out of Atlanta. I'm sure any one you listed will do the job.

GM's rule here too.
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Old 07-22-2005, 06:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trav
3/4 Ton GMC Yukon 4X4 with Vortec 8100 V8 and Auto Trans.
3/4 Ton Chevy Suburban 4X4 with Vortec 8100 V8 and Auto Trans
3/4 Ton Ford Excursion 4X4 with 6.0 Power Stroke Diesel and Auto Trans
Trav
The longer wheelbase vehicles tend to be more stable tow platforms. Therefore, I would cross off the Yukon only for that reason.
The question of which to choose would then be, do you want to pay more up front and get the diesel with better fuel mileage and less in tune-ups, or pay less now, and stretch out the money by getting gas, with higher fuel costs.
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Old 07-22-2005, 06:43 PM   #5
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Trav,


Welcome to the forums... Your profile was showing a 28' Slide out, but I'm assumimg this is a mistake, as the weights you describe are for a 28' without a slide. If it's the unit without the slide, then it's the same unit I have, a '06 28' Safari LS.

The Yukon and Suburban are one in the same, unless you are looking at a Yukon Denali, which only comes in a 1/2 ton model but with a 6.0 liter standard. Chevy's are usually cheaper that GMC, if looking at the same model (Yukon XL to Suburban), but with the curren GM employee pricing, I'm not sure if that statement still holds true.

I also looked at the Ford Excursion. It's one heck of a vehicle, but one thing to keep in mind is that the 2005's are the last year of the Excursions. The factory stops production of them in Sept, to make more capacity for the Super Duty pickups. Ford disapointed me that they did not implement the same changes to the 05 Excursion as they did in the 05 Super Duty pickups. Those changes being significant in front suspention, turning radius, brakes, etc. The 05 Excursion and the 05 Super Duty drive and handle differently.

Also take a look at this forum:
http://www.supermotors.org/clubs/for...le_2/index.php

I currently tow with a 2004 Nissan Armada 4x4. It's rated at 9100 lbs for towing, so I still have plenty of margin. I used to be a GM many myself, but GM did not have anything close to the Armada, as far as features, power, and safety.

Good luck in your decsion,

Kevin
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Old 07-22-2005, 08:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
The longer wheelbase vehicles tend to be more stable tow platforms. Therefore, I would cross off the Yukon only for that reason.
...
Terry,

I believe the 3/4 ton Yukons are actually Suburbans (XL XLT?).

Chevrolet is the only division that still calls a Suburban a Suburban.

Tom
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Old 07-22-2005, 08:11 PM   #7
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All will do just fine. The diesel would get better fuel econ, but currently diesel fuel costs as much or more than regualr gas these days.

Though the 6.0L is installed on some GMC and Caddy SUVs, they do not get the 4L80e, nor do they get the more stout brakes, hubs, or upgraded rear differential. It's basically a "premium" 1/2 truck.

The Armada is a 1/2 truck with a 123" wheelbase. The max weight I found on the website was something like 5600lbs. I can tell you first hand what happens in windy conditions with a 120" wheelbase with 25' of coach and about 1000 greater weight behind you than under you. It wouldn't be on my list for a 28' coach-- nor would a Peterbilt (with a longer wheelbase). I know some do it and love it, heck I did it myself, and am now a member of the ex-white knuckle club. A powerful engine is only part of the total equation when it comes to a tow vehicle. It looks to me Trav, like you're on the right track.
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:06 PM   #8
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Hi Trav!

I agree that any of them would do OK. I pull our 34' with a Y2K Ex V10 4x4. The only thing I'd caution you on with the Ex is that you make sure that you've got the rear anti-sway bar in the rear suspension (mine didn't come with one stock and I installed the Helwig unit) as well as radius rods (custom built by Land Yot). The Excursion has a single shortcoming as a tow car, and that is that the rear spring stack can't keep the rear axle located squarely under the truck as it's only half the height of the SuperDuty spring stack. That allows the trailer to move the rear of the Excursion causing a vague steering feel and a lack of solid feeling while towing. The Helwig anti-sway bar and Land Yot's radius rods really make a difference and stop the rear-axle steering from affecting the Ex.

Other than that, the Excursion is a fabulous tow vehicle! AND it fits under my 7' garage door just perfectly with about an inch to spare! It was touch and go when I brought it home before I bought it to try it in the garage for size, but it fits nicely.

I use a Reese Dual-Cam with 1,000 lb bars and a hi-performance draw bar.

Best of luck!

Roger
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Old 07-23-2005, 04:35 AM   #9
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Just to add to the muddle.....

I use a '01 2500HD Suburbaan with the 6.0 L and the 3.96 gears. LOVE the truck but would consider the 4.11's for next time.

The truck is a horse as far as towing is conserned. Went 4238.4 miles and averaged 10.75 MPG the whole trip. beats Class A's and Class B's and even Class C's. (Diesel may affect results) but we know that they paid 5 to 15K for the motor!

Get the longest wheelbase with the biggest engine that you are likely to need - period! Ford vs Chevy vs GMC..... that is all recordkeeping. Go with what suits you uniquike needs and all will be well with the world.

And remember that the 01 2500 Burb is the "tow-inest big dog on the planet" - anywhere!
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Old 07-23-2005, 07:08 AM   #10
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We are happy with our 2500 8.1 litre suburban. Use E-Z-Lift hitch. Have used the Reese friction anti-sway (some noise in tight turns) and even the friction sway control bar. All trailers were 31 Ft. But the Reese and friction anti-sway were on a 1968 and 1984 trailer respectively. (ie Much lighter trailers than the current versions). We had no problems with any of these but the friction anti-sway would be too light duty for your needs (in my opinion)
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Old 07-23-2005, 01:54 PM   #11
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98 F150 with auto tranny and 4.6 towing 6x10 enclosed trailer down the expressway from Raleigh to Miami and back... 3k pounds total... any tips? max speeds? overdrive or 3rd gear?


Thanks!
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Old 07-23-2005, 05:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomW
Terry,

I believe the 3/4 ton Yukons are actually Suburbans (XL XLT?).

Chevrolet is the only division that still calls a Suburban a Suburban.

Tom
Until last year, the Yukon XL was the Suburban equivalent, and the Yukon was the Tahoe equivalent. Has it changed yet again?
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Old 07-23-2005, 07:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VSP Raleigh
98 F150 with auto tranny and 4.6 towing 6x10 enclosed trailer down the expressway from Raleigh to Miami and back... 3k pounds total... any tips? max speeds? overdrive or 3rd gear?


Thanks!
If you have a trans temp gauge, I'd try overdrive unless you hear it hunting and/or the trans temps begin to exceed 185-190 degrees. If you have no sway or weight bars, then I'd keep it at 55mph.
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Old 07-23-2005, 07:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
If you have a trans temp gauge, I'd try overdrive unless you hear it hunting and/or the trans temps begin to exceed 185-190 degrees. If you have no sway or weight bars, then I'd keep it at 55mph.
I've done plenty of towing around town, but not a lot of sustained towing, so i wasn't sure. I've had it on I-40 between Durham and Benson and in overdrive, it downshifted only on hills (I don't think it went into third thought) It doesn't have a trans temp gauge, but i've been told that there is some corrilation between the engine temp gauge and trans temp but never confirmed.
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